Salzburg’s Easter Festival. Get Cultured

If you’ve ever been to Salzburg, Austria, perhaps the mountains come to mind. After all, this is where Julie Andrews as Maria ran up over the hill with her arms flung wide. The tradition of music in this city continues to flourish since the time before Amadeus Mozart first licked his fingers across a keyboard when playing and composing for the royal courts.

These days, music is still a huge force in this gorgeous city. One time of the year to catch the best of the best in the Baroque tradition is for the Salzburg Easter Festival (Osterfestspiele Salzburg) that starts this Saturday. It always starts on the Saturday before Palm Sunday so you can keep this in mind for next year or the year after that or the year after that. The schedule is actually set through 2010 so you can plan ahead. Starting this year is the production of Wagner’s opera “Ring der Nibelungen.” The festival also has music performances by the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.

This festival is not a street fair, drop-in variety exactly, but seems to be a who’s who in the world of high brow culture. If you want to feel like you’re among them, this is the place. If you do head to Salzburg any time soon, try a Mozart ball chocolate. They are marzipan on the inside and chocolate on the outside. You’ll know what I’m talking about. Mozart is stamped on the paper covering and they’re sold everywhere. Since Salzburg has several festivals throughout the year, there is something for everybody.